All About Eve (1950)
Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night!— Margo Channing
Last night, I saw the number 75 of the top 250 IMDB films of all time, All About Eve. I heard Michael Vox from Cinebanter discussing this movie in his last five. He expressed his disappointment that the movie is too dated. I didn’t feel that way when I saw it. I enjoyed it.
This movie was nominated for fourteen Oscars back in 1950. That was a huge achievement until Titanic tied it in 1997.
The movie is about the rise of a young vindictive ingenue, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) that tries to usurp the theater career of Margo Channing (Bette Davis).
It begins at an award ceremony with a humorous voice over from Addington DeWitt (George Sanders), the conniving theater critic. He is sitting in the table with Margo, her best friend, Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), Karen’s playwright husband, Lloyd (Hugh Marlowe) and producer Max Fabian (Gregory Ratoff).
The action flashes back to a plain jane Eve being an assistant to theater diva Margo. Everybody around Margo thinks that Eve has ulterior motives, Addington and also the maid, Birdie (Thelma Ritter).
All of the main cast were nominated for Oscars; Bette, Anne, Celeste, Thelma Ritter, and George Sanders, who won.
Lastly, Marilyn Monroe appears in a small part as Miss Casswell, a naive young actress that was the date of Addington.
I don’t think that the movie is dated. The way that people’s acting careers are a polar opposite today with screen actors going to the stage to get some theater cred. I took this movie for what it is, a taut “how-catch-her” with witty dialogue and moments of cold shoulders and relative catty-ness.
My judgment: If you want to see a solid film about how actors were behaving in the late forties, seek out this movie.
My rating: *****
Posted on February 1, 2009, in 1950, Academy Award Winner, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Drama, Top 250 of All Time in IMDB and tagged All About Eve, Anne Baxter, Bette Davis, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, George Sanders, Gregory Ratoff, Hugh Marlowe, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Ritter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.